March 18, 2009 / 7:05 PM / 11 years ago

US picks admiral as new Pacific Command chief

WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday he had chosen Admiral Robert Willard, the head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, to run the headquarters for U.S. military operations for Asia and the Pacific.

If nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate, Willard would succeed Admiral Timothy Keating as head of U.S. Pacific Command.

Gates also recommended a second term for Navy Admiral Mike Mullen as chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Reporting by Andrew Gray and David Morgan)

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